In a few days, I will be leaving for Switzerland, together with Milos from trendlupe.de, Andreas from Gipfelfieber and Frank from Der Outdoor Tester. I am pretty excited, especially since I have never really been to Switzerland before (except for some airport stopovers).
Together as a small group, we will discover Graubünden. “Graubünden has every colour: Red for the Rhätische Bahn railway, yellow for the postal buses, blue for its 615 lakes and the skies above 150 valleys, green for forests and pastures, golden brown for larch trees in autumn, grey for castles and rocks, and white for snow and ice.
Choose red to take the Rhätische Bahn to Klosters, Davos, Arosa, St. Moritz, the Surselva region, the Engadine and Valposchiavo. Choose yellow and see Savognin and the Müstair valley, Lenzerheide, and the Mesolcina and Bregaglia valleys by postal bus. Pick grey for climbing a sheer rock face, and white for storming peaks and traversing glaciers. Or simply sit down on a patch of green and enjoy azure skies above.” (source: My Switzerland)
Just by looking at the pictures, I immediately start dreaming and already feel like I am in my Disney bubble.
We will be going on a hiking adventure, exploring the tracks of the Walsers in the high valley of Graubünden. The Walser are the speakers of the Walser German dialects, a variety of Highest Alemannic. They inhabit the Alps of Switzerland and Liechtenstein, as well as on the fringes of Italy and Austria. The Walser people are named after the Wallis (Valais), the uppermost Rhône valley, where they settled from roughly the 10th century in the late phase of the migration of the Alamanni, crossing from the Bernese Oberland; because of linguistic differences among the Walser dialects, it is supposed that there were two independent immigration routes.
From the upper Wallis, they began to spread south, west and east between the 12th and 13th centuries, in the so-called Walser migrations (Walserwanderungen). The causes of these further population movements, the last wave of settlement in the higher valleys of the Alps, are not entirely clear. Some think that the large Walser migrations took place because of conflicts with the valley’s feudal lords. Other theories contend it was because of overpopulation and yet others that they were reinforced by the respective local authorities in order to settle previously unpopulated regions. I will probably find out more about the history when I am in Switzerland.
The trail begins in the village of San Bernardino. In 1270 the first settlers crossed the pass of the same name from the Valais and settled in Rheinwald. The impressive houses in Hinterrhein, Nufenen and Splügen are a reminder of the days of trading with mule-trains. The Splügenpass, the Safierberg, Passo del S. Bernardino and the Valserberg were important north-south links. The route leads through historic cultivated landscapes and typical scattered Walser settlements. Hiking time for each stage is between 4.5 and 7 hours. But there is plenty of time to enjoy and explore the beautiful landscape. Alpine crossings link the high valleys, along the way the hiker meets clear mountain lakes and high, protected moorlands. The route leads through species-rich Alpine meadows and shady stone pine and larch forests. These impressive natural environments alternate with evidence of Walser pastures and mountain farming. Typical slanted wooden fences, Walser houses burned brown by the sun, log-cabin-style barns and regional building variations such as steeply-pitched roofs in Vals and wood-shingle roofs in the Safiental valley add to the appeal of this long-distance trail.A friendly evening meal with local people is a pleasant way to round off each one-day stage. Whether in a village still typifying Walser culture, such as Safien, Avers, St. Antönien or Langwies or in a major Walser tourism centre such as Davos, Klosters or Arosa.
The route comprises 19 sections, which are also ideal for day excursions. (source: Walserweg)
I so cannot wait to explore everything, although I am not quite sure, if I am fit enough to go on such a long hiking trip. I really hope, I will make it. You can follow everything on Snapchat @Vs_World and on Twitter. ;-)